JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- People who live and work around the storage facility Tammy Gill managed say they were not surprised to hear the couple was involved in Tuesday's deadly police shooting.
Action News spoke with neighbors who said the two were friendly at times but often stayed to themselves. Brian Christenson's business is next door to Atlantic Self Storage on Mayport Rd. Christenson said the pair lived in an RV parked on facility property.
"When I heard the news, yeah, it was shocking," said Christenson. "But I could kind of put the pieces together and say, yeah, that could happen."
Nancy Manton lives next to the portion of the facility where the RV is parked. She called the couple strange and told Action News her family has had run-ins with Lesley Cowan.
Action News asked Christenson if he noticed any changes in behavior leading up to Tuesday's incident.
"Yes, absolutely in the last couple of months," Christenson said. "I was just mentioning to one of my co-workers that he doesn't wave anymore because he would walk by and he'd gesture, nod or wave."
Police told Action News that Gill was in the process of being fired from her job at Atlantic Self Storage.
We reached out to her supervisor, Randall Whitfield, who stated "The man involved was not an employee of Atlantic Self Storage. Tammy Gill, who was a manager for Atlantic Self Storage, was not fired as reported. She was in the process of being terminated because she had failed to be present at her job for the two consecutive work days without notice. The staff and management of the Academy Sports appear to have conducted themselves properly to a threatening situation and acted quickly by calling 911 to which the JSO responded rapidly. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved including the employees of the Academy Sports and Officer Hudson of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office."
New Information on Suspects
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says the man shot by police Tuesday morning carried a loaded revolver and a shotgun into Academy Sports, wanting to buy ammo. Investigators also revealed more into what led up to the deadly police shooting.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, JSO Chief Tom Hackney named, but not positively identified the gunman as 56-year-old Lesley Cowan, of Texas. He and Tammy Lynn Gill, 51, walked into the store on Atlantic Boulevard shortly after 9 a.m. to buy ammunition. He was carrying the shotgun out in the open.
Police say employees stopped them at the front door, saying there's a store policy of no guns in the store. Employees called 911, and had operators on the phone during the entire episode. Authorities say the employees had concerns about the demeanor of the man carrying the shotgun.
The couple continued to the gun section of the store to buy ammunition. Employees refused to sell them anything.
At one point, an employee asked to take the shotgun from the man. According to police, the man told the employee that "he would blow their heads off."
Police say store workers agreed to sell the couple five boxes of ammunition in an effort to get them out of the store.
The couple started to leave in a white pickup truck when police officers started to pull into the store parking lot. The pickup truck even drove past one officer.
A police officer ordered the driver of the truck to stop, but she refused.
Police say the man in the passenger seat opened the sliding back window of the pickup truck, pointed a revolver out the window and fired.
The responding officer returned fire using a rifle, striking the man multiple times in the upper part of his body.
JFRD pronounced the gunman dead at the scene. Police took the female driver into custody.
Officer Bradley Hudson, a 22-year-veteran with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, is on administrative leave which is standard procedure after police shootings.
Police found a loaded shotgun, a revolver, and a .22-caliber pistol in the pickup truck.
"Theoretically, they obviously had enough to do some potential harm," said Chief Hackney.
Police Reveal A Potential Motive
Investigators also revealed a potential motive in the police shooting. Authorities said Gill and Cowan sent a threatening email to her boss, threatening his family and anyone getting in their way.
Police say Gill was about to be fired from her job at the Atlantic Self Storage facility in Mayport.
The email was sent at 8:55 a.m., about 20 minutes before the confrontation at Academy Sports.
Chief Hackney quoted a portion of the email, saying "they would basically take out or kill" anyone from Atlantic Storage, the Beaches Police Department, and law enforcement in general.
Gill is facing numerous charges including fleeing from a law enforcement officer, carrying a concealed firearm, and written threats to kill or do bodily harm to a person or family member.
She is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Police say neither Gill nor Cowan had a concealed weapons permit.